Francis Poulenc
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1899-01-07
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/5e1ef22b-310a-46ad-885b-4897b8c9c85a
Francis Poulenc

Francis Poulenc Biography (BBC)

It was the French critic Claude Rostand who made the classic distinction between Poulenc the monk (‘le moine’) and Poulenc the bad boy (‘le voyou’). Had he been writing when the composer was in his early thirties rather than his early fifties, Rostand would not have been able to make such a distinction: there was only the bad boy. What changed things – following the trauma of the death of a colleague in a particularly horrific road accident in 1936 – was a revelatory first visit to the chapel of the Black Virgin at Rocamadour. Immediately on leaving there Poulenc made a start on his Litanies à la Vierge noire, the first in a series of 12 religious choral works written over the remaining 27 years of his life.

During his childhood he had been influenced less by his God-fearing father – one of the founders of the chemical manufacturing company that became Rhône-Poulenc – than by his mother, who was not very religious but was very musical. He absorbed cabaret and dance music as thoroughly as classical music from Monteverdi to Stravinsky via Mozart. His refusal to discriminate between the two types is one of the most distinctive, most appealing and most durable features of his own compositions, many of which are all the better for their quota of ‘bad-boy’ music.

Not having had a conservatoire training, though he studied piano with Ricardo Viñes and harmony with Charles Koechlin, he needed a model. That is where Stravinsky came in. Stravinsky was the dominant influence on his music not only in the 1920s – when Poulenc found early notoriety as one of the so-called ‘Groupe des Six’ under the anti-Impressionist aesthetic leadership of Jean Cocteau – but through much of his career. In fact, it would take him as long to integrate the Stravinsky idiom into his own harmonic language as to reconcile the monk and the bad-boy elements in his make-up.

Poulenc was an entertaining and affectionate companion who loved music above everything else. Recent biographies have made much of his homosexuality but it was no more important to his development than any other composer’s sexuality to his or hers. Besides, apart from the fact that he was by no means exclusively homosexual, the two most fruitful relationships in his adult life were strictly platonic. But for his long-term recital partnership with the baritone Pierre Bernac he would not have provided a catalogue of songs as distinguished as any in the 20th century. And without his loving admiration for the soprano Denise Duval, for whom he conceived the roles of Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites and the solitary protagonist in La voix humaine, his last two operas might not have been written at all.

Profile © Gerald Larner

Francis Poulenc Biography (Wikipedia)

Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (7 January 1899 – 30 January 1963) was a French composer and pianist. His compositions include mélodies, solo piano works, chamber music, choral pieces, operas, ballets, and orchestral concert music. Among the best-known are the piano suite Trois mouvements perpétuels (1919), the ballet Les biches (1923), the Concert champêtre (1928) for harpsichord and orchestra, the Organ Concerto (1938), the opera Dialogues des Carmélites (1957), and the Gloria (1959) for soprano, choir and orchestra.

As the only son of a prosperous manufacturer Poulenc was expected to follow his father into the family firm, and he was not allowed to enrol at a music college. Largely self-educated musically, he studied with the pianist Ricardo Viñes, who became his mentor after the composer's parents died. Poulenc soon came under the influence of Erik Satie, under whose tutelage he became one of a group of young composers known collectively as Les Six. In his early works Poulenc became known for his high spirits and irreverence. During the 1930s a much more serious side to his nature emerged, particularly in the religious music he composed from 1936 onwards, which he alternated with his more light-hearted works.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.



Francis Poulenc Tracks

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Francis Poulenc
Litanies à la Vierge Noire version for women's voices and organ (1936)
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Litanies à la Vierge Noire version for women's voices and organ (1936)
Francis Poulenc
L'embarquement pour Cythère
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L'embarquement pour Cythère
Francis Poulenc
Capriccio (d'après La bal masque)
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Capriccio (d'après La bal masque)
Francis Poulenc
Élégie for two pianos
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Élégie for two pianos
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata (2nd mvt)
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Flute Sonata (2nd mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Stabat Mater Dolorosa (from Stabat Mater)
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Stabat Mater Dolorosa (from Stabat Mater)
Francis Poulenc
Trio for trumpet, horn and trombone
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Trio for trumpet, horn and trombone
Francis Poulenc
Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
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Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
Francis Poulenc
Hyde Park, FP 127/2
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Hyde Park, FP 127/2
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata orch. Berkeley
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Flute Sonata orch. Berkeley
Francis Poulenc
Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
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Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
Francis Poulenc
Figure humaine - cantata for double chorus
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Figure humaine - cantata for double chorus
Francis Poulenc
Fleurs from Fiancailles pour rire
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Fleurs from Fiancailles pour rire
Francis Poulenc
Les Mamelles de Tiresias, from Acte 1
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Les Mamelles de Tiresias, from Acte 1

Les Mamelles de Tiresias, from Acte 1

Performer
Andre Cluytens, Cours et Orchestre du Theatre National de l’Opera-Comique
Francis Poulenc
L'embarquement pour Cythère
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L'embarquement pour Cythère
Francis Poulenc
Improvisation No. 8 in A minor
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Improvisation No. 8 in A minor
Francis Poulenc
Concert champêtre
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Concert champêtre
Francis Poulenc
Les chemins de l'amour
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Les chemins de l'amour
Francis Poulenc
Pastourelle (de L'Eventail de Jeanne FP. 45)
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Pastourelle (de L'Eventail de Jeanne FP. 45)
Francis Poulenc
Oboe Sonata
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Oboe Sonata

Oboe Sonata

Performer
Eva Steinaa
Galya Kolarova
Francis Poulenc
Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon, FP 43: II. Andante
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Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon, FP 43: II. Andante
Francis Poulenc
Intermezzo in A flat major
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Intermezzo in A flat major
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata (1st mvt)
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Flute Sonata (1st mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Mazurka (Mouvements du Coeur)
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Mazurka (Mouvements du Coeur)

Mazurka (Mouvements du Coeur)

Performer
Michael Pandaya
Singer
William Thomas
Last played on
Francis Poulenc
Concerto in D minor for two pianos (1st mvt)
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Concerto in D minor for two pianos (1st mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata (1st mvt)
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Flute Sonata (1st mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Poulenc: Concert champêtre, FP 49: II. Andante (Mouvement de Sicilienne)
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Poulenc: Concert champêtre, FP 49: II. Andante (Mouvement de Sicilienne)
Francis Poulenc
Oboe sonata (1st mvt)
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Oboe sonata (1st mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone (1st mvt)
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Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone (1st mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Les Chemins de l'amour
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Les Chemins de l'amour
Francis Poulenc
Hotel
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Hotel
Francis Poulenc
Voyage a Paris
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Voyage a Paris
Francis Poulenc
Hôtel
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Hôtel
Francis Poulenc
Mouvement perpetuel No 3
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Mouvement perpetuel No 3
Francis Poulenc
Novelettes Nos 1, 2 and 3
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Novelettes Nos 1, 2 and 3
Francis Poulenc
Les Biches: Suite
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Les Biches: Suite
Francis Poulenc
Novelette No 1 in C major
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Novelette No 1 in C major
Francis Poulenc
Rondeau (Les biches)
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Rondeau (Les biches)
Francis Poulenc
Sextet for Piano and Winds
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Sextet for Piano and Winds
Francis Poulenc
Mélancolie
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Mélancolie

Mélancolie

Performer
Franziska Lee
Last played on
Francis Poulenc
La Courte Paille: vi) Le carafon
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La Courte Paille: vi) Le carafon
Francis Poulenc
La Courte Paille: v) Les anges musiciens
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La Courte Paille: v) Les anges musiciens
Francis Poulenc
La Courte Paille: ii) Quelle aventure
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La Courte Paille: ii) Quelle aventure
Francis Poulenc
La Courte Paille: i) Le sommeil
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La Courte Paille: i) Le sommeil
Francis Poulenc
L'embarquement pour Cythère
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L'embarquement pour Cythère
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Past BBC Events

Proms 1933: Prom 37
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ep5p5v
Queen's Hall
1933-09-23T03:06:57
23
Sep
1933

Proms 1933: Prom 37

Queen's Hall
Proms 1931: Prom 25
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/efq6v2
Queen's Hall
1931-09-05T03:06:57
5
Sep
1931

Proms 1931: Prom 25

Queen's Hall

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